For the half year ended June 30, Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) achieved a net profit after tax of $183 million.This is an increase of 72 per cent compared to the same period in 2013 when the profit was $106 million.In his report to shareholders on the second quarter results, chairman Arthur Lok Jack said the group's insurance businesses continued to produce excellent results with top line growth of 13 per cent from $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion.
"Life, health and pensions grew $178 million or 12 per cent over the previous period, whilst the property and casualty segment increased by $176 million or 14 per cent," Lok Jack said."The overall net income from insurance underwriting activities increased $18 million or seven per cent over the previous year. The asset management segment produced operating profits of $16 million, an eight per cent increase over the last year."
Lok Jack said the group acquired Kruit, a brokerage firm in the Netherlands in keeping with its strategy of making small bolt-on acquisitions. He said this acquisition is being integrated into the group's existing broker, Thoma, which was acquired in 2012."Our investing activities produced $448 million, a 17 per cent increase compared to last year, as net fair value gains/(losses) moved favourably from a loss of $48 million last year to a gain of $29 million in 2014," Lok Jack said.
"We continue to be challenged by low interest rates, as well as a dearth of new investment opportunities, which even when available, produce lower returns than in the past."GHL's operating expenses increased by $37 million or nine per cent. Of that amount, $11 million was related to the Pointe Simon project–those expenses were capitalised last year as the project was in the construction phase.
Lok Jack said: "Overall, your board is very satisfied with the group's half year performance and remains positive about the outlook for the rest of the financial year."